Boost your child's early communication skills

Upcoming sessions

Singing, stories, top tips and more.

Parents with babies up to 15 months 

  • Wednesdays, 13:30-14:30, Loughborough Children's Centre
    Contact Jackie Baker: / 020 7274 8374

Parents with toddlers under 4

  • Mondays, 10:00-11:30, Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 4530 5735
  • Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30, Stockwell Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 7326 7328
  • Tuesdays, 13:30-15:00, Maytree Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 8671 3298
  • Wednesdays, 13:00-14:30, Treehouse Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 8674 6060
  • Thursdays, 10:00-11:30, Ethelred Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 7582 9711
  • Thursdays, 9:30-11:00, Benton’s Lane Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 4542 3520
  • Fridays, 9:30-11:00, Sunnyhill Children’s Centre
    Contact 020 4548 2561

What is Chattertime?

Chattertime is for families with children under 4. Its a great way to encourage and develop your child’s early communication skills.

What is the purpose of Chattertime?

The purpose of the group is to support the development of children’s early speech, language and communication skills. 

The group is open to all eligible children, but in particular children who are:

  • Identified as having speech and language difficulties.

  • ‘Late talkers’ (e.g. 2-year olds who are not using many words yet).

  • ‘At risk’ of speech and language difficulties (e.g. older siblings had communication difficulties).

Chattertime also welcomes parents and carers who have general queries about their child’s speech and language skills or would like some tips or advice.

Common questions include: 

“Should my child be talking more?”

“Should I use more than one language with my child?”

“Should I use signs or gestures with my child?” 

“I am worried that my child has a stammer”

What happens in a session?

The group meets weekly and is run jointly with a Speech and Language Therapist and a trained member of early years staff from the setting where the group is taking place.

They give advice and support to parents and carers, on the development of early speech and language skills.

These include the development of your child's:

  • Attention and listening skills
  • Play skills
  • Turn taking and social interaction skills
  • Understanding of language (e.g. following simple instructions)
  • Talking (e.g. using words, putting words together in sentences)
  • Speech skills

Chattertime does this through different activities including:

  • Playing
  • Stories
  • Singing
  • Craft

Each week, there will also be a 'tip of the week', aimed at giving you some practical ideas to encourage your child's speech and language at home. During a Chattertime session you play and interact with your child, practicing the tip of the week and sit with them during the circle time. We also plan sessions in themes (e.g. bear hunt, shark in the park or rumble in the jungle) and will encourage you to continue the theme at home.

At Chattertime we use "Makaton signing" during our play activities, at singing, story and snack time. Makaton is designed to support spoken language, through signs, hand gestures and symbols. Research has shown that signs and gestures are easier to learn than spoken words and it can help children who are having difficulty with talking and feeling frustrated communicate meaningfully with other people.

What are the outcomes you can expect by attending?

Chattertime has two primary outcomes: 

  • To support you to understand what typical communication development is.
  • To support you with advice and support on how to develop your child’s early communication skills.

How to take part

Chattertime only runs during the school term time.

The group is open to all families with children under four living in the LEAP area. We accept referrals from parents and professionals. 

If you are unable to attend your nearest Chattertime, please visit our website for alternative Chattertime and drop-in details. You can also find a referral form on our website if you would like to refer a child to speech and language therapy. 

Some children, particularly young children and those with speech and language difficulties, may find it difficult to sit and attend to the circle time when they first start coming to Chattertime. Please speak to us about ideas and strategies to support your child develop these skills. Chattertime is a good place to try out and practice ways to support them.

Jacqui Mcdermid - Communication and Language Co-Lead

Phone: 07525 061 850 

How to take part

Keep up to date on social media